Founded in 1919 by Robert Wilson Baird, Robert W. Baird (“Baird”) is a multinational independent broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Baird was originally founded as the securities arm of the First Wisconsin National Bank before becoming an independent firm, The Securities Company of Milwaukee, Inc. in 1934. The Securities Company of Milwaukee changed its name to Robert W. Baird in 1948 when it joined the NYSE. Prior to becoming fully independent, Baird was owned primarily by Northwestern Mutual Life.
According to Baird’s latest form ADV filed, the firm has 3,744 employees. With $275B+ in client assets, it is one of the largest privately held, full-service investment firms in the U.S. Baird’s brokers are licensed in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Financial Misconduct at Robert W. Baird
Baird is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and as such is legally obligated to ensure its brokers are acting lawfully in the interest of their investors. If a client suffers losses as a result of negligent behavior or misconduct from a broker, then the firm may be held legally responsible to repay the damages.
Baird and brokers backed by Baird have a long history of misconduct. Per FINRA’s BrokerCheck report, the firm has 70 disclosures (40 regulatory events and 30 arbitrations).
In August 2022, FINRA initiated a claim against Baird, finding that the firm charged commissions on low-principal transactions that were not fair and reasonable. Specifically, the firm imposed a minimum commission of $100 (as well as a handling fee) for all equity transactions. These commissions ranged from slightly over five percent to 93% of the transactions’ principal value. Additionally, the firm’s supervisory system failed to flag transactions for review when the minimum $100 commission was charged. All told, this resulted in a total of at least $266,481 in unfair commissions. Baird was censured, fined $150,000, and ordered to pay $266,481, plus interest, in restitution to clients.
Other causes of fines throughout the years include:
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Breach of Contract
- Omission of Facts
- Failure to execute
- Execution price
- Failure to supervise
- Margin calls
- Unauthorized trading
Wondering If You Have a Claim? Contact Our Firm Now!
Meyer Wilson reclaimed $350 million for the victims of investment fraud or misconduct. Our attorneys are experienced in going up against the largest investment firms, such as Robert W. Baird, and our track record affirms our resources and expertise. Meyer Wilson has represented clients nationwide and internationally, in state and federal courts, and in securities arbitration through FINRA and the American Arbitration Association (AAA). As an investor, you have a right to recover investments lost through unethical behavior or decisions made against your interests.